Many family and friends kept telling me, "You should just be happy that you have a healthy baby." That is like telling a woman who has survived breast cancer but lost most of her hair and had to have her breasts removed "You should just be happy that you are alive." She is missing part of her identity as a woman and deserves to grieve this and have people realize that it is a real issue. Since girlhood I have dreamt of being a mom; I always knew I wanted to get married and have multiple children. Part of a woman and a mother's identity is her ability to birth a child, her ability to cope with and survive labor. It is a privilege that only mothers experience, and I feel as if I have been robbed of this. I love Gabriel dearly, he is everything to Jaime and I- I just don't love the way he had to come into this world.
I am sharing my story to help make women aware of what toll a cesarean takes on a woman. It's not as simple as "well she didn't even have to push, she was cut open," and any other myths there may be about c-sections. I also want to help women achieve a natural, satisfying, healthy, and safe birth. That is why I have decided to become a doula (labor assistant). A doula helps a woman during pregnancy and specifically during labor through relaxation, visualization, massage, support, advocacy (especially at a hospital against unnecessary interventions that are often considered "routine"), partner support, breastfeeding support, and much more. Since Gabriel's birth I have known that I want to help other mothers, I am so EXCITED to have finally found my calling! I told my husband and he stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said "Oh my goodness, Sweetie, it's you!! I always knew you were meant to help people, this is perfect for you." This confirmed my feelings that becoming a doula is what I am meant to do.
Also, as I have researched VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), being a doula, and natural childbirth, it has helped me heal from my own traumatic birth experience. I hope that in the future, I can help women heal from a c-section and realize that they are STRONG, capable, beautiful women who still took part in the miracle of life. If you have had a c-section and desire to have a vaginal birth next time, visit www.ican-online.org for great support and information.